Four of the women suing NFL star Deshaun Watson are now required to refile their lawsuits using their real names.
On Friday, Harris County judges concluded that four of Watson’s sexual assault accusers must refile their claims under their birth names at two different emergency court appearances. Watson’s attorney, Rusty Hardin, filed a motion Thursday saying that the Houston Texans quarterback could not adequately prepare a legal defense without knowing who the accusers are. Prior to the ruling, the attorney representing the alleged victims, Tony Buzbee, had listed the women as “Jane Doe” in the lawsuits.
Before Harris County Judge Dedra Davis issued the ruling, Buzbee argued that two women whose identity has been made public had since received several death threats. After the ruling, Buzbee acknowledged that identifying the women may work in his client’s favor.
“Identifying these women at this point adds even more credibility to the allegations being made, and I am proud to stand with these brave and courageous women.”
Buzbee said that nine of twelve plaintiffs he represents have consented to amending their lawsuits and adding their real names. They have agreed to do so by Wednesday.
Over 20 women have accused Deshaun Watson of sexual misconduct. He has maintained his innocence.